2007 Draft Recap: Jason Snelling

Virginia Sports

Jason Snelling

Height: 5-11
December 29, 1983
Hometown: Chester, VA


40 Speed: 4.79
20 Yd: 2.73
10 Yd: 1.62
Bench: 15 reps
Vertical Jump: 30 inches
Broad Jump:
Short Shuttle: 4.38
3 Cone Drill: 7.06
Arm Length:
32.5 inches
Hand size: 9 inches

NFL Draft Countdown
by Scott WrightStrengths: Strong, powerful and runs hard…Breaks a lot of tackles…Versatile…Great hands as a receiver…Instinctive and a natural runner with nice vision…Gives good effort as a blocker…Hard worker with terrific intangibles…Has special teams potential.Weaknesses: May not have a true pro position…Has some health and durability concerns…His timed speed is below average…Not very elusive…Needs to add weight and bulk up…Is not a dominating lead blocker…He just isn’t overly physical or aggressive.Notes: Brother, T.J., played football at VMI…Suffers from epilepsy…Played running back as a senior…A classic ‘tweener who is too small to be a fullback and is not fast or shifty enough to be a running back…Has the talent to play at the next level but the question is where?…Solid backup and maybe even more in the right situation.Grade: Late Round / FA

by TFY Draft PreviewPOSITIVES: Well-built backfield prospect with marginal upside for the next level. Aggressive carrying the ball or blocking, picks up assignments and works hard until the whistle blows. Strong at the point and removes defenders from the action at fullback.NEGATIVES: Stiff, lumbers about the field and has difficulty cutting back against the grain. Does not possess the speed to get around the corner.ANALYSIS: A versatile college player, Snelling lacks the size to be a true lead blocker and the ball-handling skills to be a feature back. Offers possibilities as a short-yardage runner, and his pass-catching skills provide added value.PROJECTION: Undrafted Free Agent

GRADE: 3.24 — Practice Squad

by NFLDraftScout.comPositives: Shows good definition in his arms and chest, having dropped close to 15 pounds since 2005 … Has a tight abdomen and hips, good bubble and thickness in his thighs and calves … Displays good forward body lean and the proper pad level to drag defenders for extra yardage … Shows good quickness building to top speed with the agility to redirect through the inside holes … Feels that he should get the ball in crunch time and has had good success producing in that area, converting more than 60 percent of his third-down plays during his career (15 of 27 running, 5 of 10 receiving), as he had big plays that set up 26 touchdown drives and 15 more that ended in field goals among his 246 touches … Also a superb coverage defender, known for getting downfield to break up the wedge on kickoff returns and down punts near the goal line with the punt coverage unit … Has a quick first step into the holes, keeping his pad level down and body leaning forward to gain positive yardage … His low center-of-gravity prevents defenders from getting underneath to cut down his legs … Has the body mechanics, solid first step and enough acceleration to run over the middle linebacker as a lead blocker, and shows good stride to get to his point of contact … Has the natural knee bend to sink and uncoil as a blocker, doing a very good job in maintaining body control … Strong downhill runner with the balance and leg drive to break tackles … Doesn’t show much hip wiggle, but does have a good feel for the cutback lanes, as he runs hard, giving a solid effort to move through the trash … Demonstrates a good feel for reading his blockers and will get the hard yards up the middle when he keeps his shoulders squared … With his power, he is better off taking the ball up the gut rather than try to generate a second gear needed to elude and take the ball to the house on the outside … If Snelling gets his pads down and legs churning before hitting the line, he is a load to bring down in one-on-one situations … Runs the swing and stop routes with very good effectiveness and has excellent ability after the catch … Has the kick slide to neutralize bull rushers and the upper-body strength to punch and sustain on his blocks … Bruising lead blocker who does a fine job adjusting to targets when blocking in space … Explosive contact seeker who plays with good aggression … Quick to get down, break up the wedge, wrap and secure as a tackler on the kickoff coverage unit … He also has the vision and feel to get down the field to down punts near the goal line.Negatives: Has some hip stiffness bouncing out wide, but has the leg drive to break tackles … Doesn’t have the breakaway speed to take the ball long distances, but can power his way into the open when breaking the initial tackle … Has a functional initial burst, but doesn’t have the second gear to break free from the pile in the open … Better served running between tackles, as he doesn’t show the wiggle or second gear to take the ball to the house on the outside … Had some ball security issues in 2005, leaving it a bit exposed in one hand when running into the second level, but has made mechanical adjustments (now holds the ball on a better angle, much like Tike Barber did with the Giants the past few years) … Sometimes lets the ball absorb into his body when working underneath, but uses his frame well to shield defenders from the ball … Better served when he can catch the ball in stride rather than looking it in over his outside shoulder.

The Huddle Report
by Drew BoylhartSTRENGTHS: Jason played tailback for his college team this last year, but for the next level, he is a fullback and a damn good one at that. In fact, in this draft, he might be the best pure fullback because he can do a little bit of everything. He does a good job running between the tackles to get the tough yards, is an excellent lead blocker and shows great lateral agility to switch and pick up blitzing linemen when blocking in the passing game. He shows decent hands coming out of the backfield as well as the intelligence to handle this multi–task position that, because of its complexities, has become a lost art in the pro football world. Jason reminds me a lot of Tom Rathman (former FB San Francisco 49er’s). He is not the runner that Tom was, but he has all the other talents equal to Rathman and in the right offense, could become a core player for the team that drafts him.NEEDS TO IMPROVE: The biggest problem for Jason is that he was playing a position this year that he does not have athletic talent to play. This caused him to be inconsistent in his game and most teams looking at him as a RB are thinking that he is back-up material. I think he is a starting FB that will be a leader on special teams and in the locker room. Of course everyone is going to tell you that he is too short to be a fullback, but as you know, that is a crock. All of this might make Jason a free agent pick up after the draft.OVERALL: Jason is the type of player who will become a core special teams player and help his offense to make those third and short yards that every offense needs to be a winning football team. He will keep the chains moving for your offense either by making the yardage or making the block that allows someone else to make the yardage. He looks like he is a good kid that is liked by his teammates and coaches and will do anything to get on the field and help his team win. I’m hoping that he understands that for the next level, RB is not the position for him. Jason could do some damage in the running game in a zone blocking scheme. However, the truth is, as an every-down RB, he would only average 60-70 yds a game and that is just not going to do it at the next level. He just does not have the elusiveness, vision or change of gear speed needed to handle the RB position at the next level. As a change-up back who can be kept fresh, he will be very hard to stop around the goal line and in getting those tough third and short yards. In this draft, there are some fullbacks with as much talent as Jason, but there are none that are better. As you know by now, I do not consider Brian Leonard a fullback, so this makes Jason on my personal list as the top fullback in this draft. Here is the rub – Jason is listed as a Running Back and Brian is listed as a Fullback! You have to admit, I’ve got some set on me! I bet there is not another scout, GM or draft analyst that has the guts to tell you that both of these players for the next level should be listed opposite of what they are listed right now!TALENT BOARD ROUND: 5

On The Clock DraftJason Snelling is a versatile player who had three years of experience at fullback before becoming Virginia’s featured back as a senior. He has good instincts and is a powerful, north-south runner who does most of his damage between the tackles. He is a very good short yardage back who has the strength to break tackles and gain additional yardage. He is a solid lead blocker and has above average hands as a receiver out of the backfield. Snelling is a bit of a running back/fullback “tweener”. He lacks great size for a fullback and he is a solid but unspectacular lead blocker. As a runner, Snelling lacks the speed to get to the edge and turn the corner. He isn’t a very elusive runner in the open field and he won’t break many long runs. Durability could be a cause for concern with Snelling. He only had one season in college where he saw action in every game (2005). He took a redshirt in 2003 when he had a sprained shoulder. In 2004 he missed 5 games due to a sprained ankle and he missed the Wyoming game as a senior with another ankle sprain. Snelling is a versatile player who can run, block, and catch. He should be a second day pick in the 2007 NFL draft.

Football’s Future
by Robert DavisSnelling had an immediate impact as a freshman in 2002. He ran for just 38 yards on nine carries, but had a career high 31 receptions for 314 yards and four touchdowns. He redshirted in 2003, and was limited by injuries in 2004. As a junior, he bounced back and ran for 325 yards and three touchdowns, and added 19 catches for 140 yards out of the backfield. Snelling took more of a featured rusher role in 2006, rushing for 772 yards and seven touchdowns, while hauling in 29 receptions for 282 yards . Jason Snelling is an excellent all around fullback prospect. He can do it all: run, block, and catch. He was a solid lead blocker his first three years in the program, but emerged as a legitimate rushing threat as a senior. As a fullback, he has the power and speed to be a threat running the ball. His best asset may be his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Snelling will be a multi purpose threat out of the backfield. As a fullback, there is not a great deal to dislike about Snelling. He is not a dominating lead blocker, and he may not be a real playmaker with the ball in his hands, but that really is nitpicking. Outside of Brian Leonard, there isn’t a better fullback in the draft. He may not be a difference maker or have one true standout ability, but Snelling could be a very solid fullback in the NFL.

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Aaron Freeman
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